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Tualatin takes aim at lucky No. 13

The Wolves look to continue their string of league titles


TUALATIN — Getting No. 12 was pretty darn impressive.

And, so far, it looks like the trek for No. 13 will be anything but unlucky.

In other words, the Tualatin High School girls tennis team has high hopes in continuing its league championship tradition.

The Timberwolves, with a lineup full of talented returnees as well as some promising newcomers, has high hopes as it looks to claim its 13th straight league championship.by: DAN BROOD - ONE OF THE BEST -- Tualatin High School senior Eloise Loen, who reached the Pacific Conference district tournament singles championship match last year, is back and playing strong for the Wolves.

“We have the potential for a very outstanding year,” Tualatin coach Doug Rostron said. “Our overall goals are to finish first in league, have a district champion in singles, have a district champion in doubles and qualify as many athletes as possible for our state tournament run.”

One of the top returnees from last year’s Tualatin team that won both the Pacific Conference dual match championship and the league’s district tournament crown is senior Mollie Freel.

The past two years, Freel has been part of a powerful doubles team with her older sister, Megan.

But, with Megan graduating in 2012, Mollie Freel has moved to singles play, holding down the No. 1 spot for the Wolves.

“I think Mollie is going to surprise a lot of people with her intelligence and overall athletic ability,” Rostron said.

Freel stayed unbeaten through four No. 1 singles matches to start the season. She dropped just a total of 10 games in those four victories.

Senior Eloise Loen will be at No. 2 singles for the Wolves. Last year, Loen reached the championship match in singles play at the Pacific Conference district tournament.

“Eloise is a terrific player with unbelievable power and she has a lot of singles experience,” Rostron said.

Loen also got off to a 4-0 start in league matches.

Senior Taylor Barnes will be at No. 3 singles for the second straight year.

“Taylor has really committed herself to offseason training and seeks to be a lot more powerful and consistent this year,” Rostron said.

Junior Sarah Lemieux will play at No. 4 singles for Tualatin for the second straight year.

“She gives us great depth and experience at this position,” Rostron said.

Seniors Bella Koessler and Nicole Janes will be at No. 1 doubles for the Wolves this year.

Last year, playing at No. 2 doubles behind the Freel sisters, Koessler and Janes didn’t drop a set in Pacific Conference dual match play all season. They went on to reach the quarterfinal round at last year’s Class 6A state tournament.

“This year, their goal is to finish undefeated in league and be the top seed at the district tournament,” Rostron said.

Alisha Inkens and Maddie Meade will be at No. 2 doubles.

“Their goal this year is to finish in the top four at district tournament and to qualify for the state tournament,” Rostron said.

Returnee Debbie Kim and freshman Riley Steele will be at No. 3 doubles.

“I believe this team is going to surprise a lot of people,” Rostron said. “And I see them having a great district tournament.”

At No. 4 doubles, Tualatin returns Kayla O’Brien and Jill Irvine.

“They bring a great deal of experience and talent at the No. 4 spot,” Rostron said.

Other players for the Wolves in clued Audrey DePaepe, Haley Muller, Alex Rose, Tatiana Dyler, Katie Torres and Jordan Zielsdorf.

“It has been a joy to coach this team so far this year because of their incredible work ethic and desire to become the best tennis players that they can be. The sky’s the limit,” Rostron said. “Also, what is extremely exciting is that we have six freshmen in our top 18. What a great foundation for the coming years.”

The Wolves won 7-1 at Newberg on Monday and they got an 8-0 victory at McMinnville on Tuesday to get off to a 5-0 start to the Pacific Conference season.

Tualatin will be back in action today (Thursday) when it hosts Century in a league match starting at 4 p.m. On Tuesday, the Wolves will be home to face Glencoe at 4 p.m.




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